CoPIRG: High levels of lead in some fidget spinners sold at Target

The two fidget spinners with high amount of lead are still on Target shelves and are being sold online.

In recent lab results, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund found two fidget spinners sold at Target have "extremely high levels of lead". The retailer argued instead that the spinners don't meet the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the definition of a toy, and pointed out that the spinners are clearly marked as being for ages 14 and up.

CoPIRG is calling for an investigation into how these toys ended up with such high levels of lead, and wants Target to address the problem and ensure that no other fidget spinners have similarly high levels. The CPSC's lead maximum is set for kids toys marketed at 12 years or younger, so the spinner is technically legal despite the insane amount of lead within it.

Currently, the toxic fidget spinners are still available both in toy aisles at Target stores and on its website. The center circle of the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal" was tested for 1,300 ppm of lead and the arm tested for 520 ppm of lead. Children products must not contain more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of total lead in "accessible parts", according to federal requirements.

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Fidget spinners are supposed to be calming and fun, especially for students struggling to focus. New research shows they can also be risky. The group says parents should check for the age recommendation on the package - anything for children under 12 are subject to a range of tests, including for lead.

Lead exposure can be extremely unsafe for children, potentially impacting mental development among other risks. Additionally, the packaging for the brass spinner says the toy is appropriate for ages "6 and up".

Further, Target spokeperson Lee Henderson leans on the CPSC's classification of fidget spinners as "general use products" rather than "toys". A spokeswoman for the CPSC said she could not comment specifically on the products being sold by Target.

In children, lead can lead to hyperactivity, behavior problems, and learning disabilities.

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